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Best Buy closing 50 big-box stores, laying off 400

The company said it was closing the stores to help cut costs.

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Customers look at a selection of plasma flat screen television sets at Best Buy electronics store on November 27, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Tom Pennington/AFP/Getty Images)

Best Buy plans to close 50 big-box stores in the US and open the same number of stores in China by 2013, the electronics retailer revealed in its quarterly results today.

Closing the big-box stores would reduce its 1,100 US locations by about 4.5 percent overall, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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The company, which is aiming to slash its costs by $800 million by fiscal year 2015, said it was closing the stores to help shrink its expenses, CNN Money reported. The company said it would also lay off 400 corporate and support workers as part of its cost-cutting efforts, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In the quarter that ended Mar. 3, Best Buy lost $1.7 billion, the Los Angeles Times reported. The company made a $651 million profit over the same period a year ago.

Best Buy said it will test new-format stores that are 20 percent smaller than its big-box stores in San Antonio, Texas, St. Paul, Minn., and Minneapolis, the LA Times reported. It also plans to open 100 small, mobile-only stores that will sell e-readers, tablet computers, cellphones and service plans.

"I am not satisfied with the pace or degree of change we have made up to this point," Chief Executive Brian Dunn said in a conference call with analysts, the Wall Street Journal reported. He added, "We are evolving our retail store strategy. We are increasing our points of presence while decreasing our overall square footage."

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